Captain Steve Grabowski and Lieutenant Sarah Jones are up for promotion after leading a valiant police effort that has eliminated drug use at the event known as Burning Man.
Over 50,000 artists, musicians and others wishing to experiment with “radical self-expression” gather at Burning Man each year. The event is a haven for the strange and bizarre and is notorious for the use of drugs such as LSD-25, MDMA, and Cannabis.
“Our mission here is not to stop young people from having a good time but to protect them from getting hurt.” Captain Grabowski places handcuffs on a young woman. She was found in possession of a drug testing kit, a tool used to determine what kind of drug a user has bought. “We are in the business of harm reduction,” says Grabowski.
Richard Thomas, an event attendee known as ‘The Postman’, regrets spending his summer building his sculpture ‘El Pulpo Mechanico’, a two story mechanical octopus that spouts fire from its arms.
“It’s not like I can pay bills with a mechanical beast,” says Thomas. “I’m not going to send my three year old daughter to a state school just so I could blow some people’s minds. That’s just irresponsible.” Thomas has plans to open a chain of furniture stores.
Gabriella Martinez, Director of Admissions for UCSF, has seen the impact first hand. “We have had a 153% increase in enrollment for our MBA program while the Art department is struggling to fill enrollment for next year,” says Martinez. “We can’t thank the Nevada Highway Patrol enough.”
The next Burning Man will begin on October 1st, 2012. There are preliminary plans to change the venue to the Las Vegas Convention Center.